Chinese Studies personal statement
As a pupil in a European school, on occasion I had the pleasure of being lectured about East Asia. Whenever that happened, I found any kind of information imposing. I always pondered why it always had to be cut off and not talked about continuously, like was the case with western countries, whose lectures flowed from one subject on to the next without hesitation. Lectures about Asia always seemed to be in their own little confined spaces and separated sections.
My wonders were partially clarified when I read The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation, by John Hobson. He mentions one word as a reason for the fact that Asia would always be mentioned only as a small footnote - Eurocentrism. A veil was lifted from my eyes, and I couldn't believe the amount of Eurocentric myths very much alive in our part of the world. On the other hand, I was fascinated and loved the way the clichés and misbeliefs I had learned were broken. My fascination led to a realization that China is my true love and there can be no other.
A year ago, I decided to take a course in Chinese at the Chinese Institute in Prague. I was lucky to choose this particular course, for my teacher was an admirable and well-travelled expert who couldn't give me a better introduction and insight into not only Chinese culture, but all of Asia. These lessons soon became my favourite time of the week. Soon I found out how demanding studying Chinese is and how inspiring and motivating it is to delve deeper and deeper not only into the language, but the culture and history as well.
What particularly fascinates me about China is that linguistics are well connected with Chinese culture and thought, along with its aesthetic value. I first noticed this when we came across the sign 'wáng'. This sign, for 'king', shows the importance of a ruler, which unifies land, people and the upper regions. It also looks as if it is inspired by the king of animals: the tiger. I admire how deeply complex and connected Chinese history, culture and philosophy are. Therefore, the only way to master it and become an expert is to a) learn from the best and b) do so every day.
Languages and foreign cultures have always been my passion. As a native Czech speaker, I have managed to develop my English skills to a respectable level. After two years of studying Russian at school, I moved to spend a year in a full Russian school in Prague, where I was the only Czech person and lessons took place in Russian only. In a short time, I was able to speak fluently, which I now use for teaching Russian to others. This experience has made me confident that with hard work and determination, I can conquer even one of the most difficult languages - Chinese. My free time is dedicated to further development of English via English literature and studying Chinese and Dutch.
In studying Chinese I view my future as a bright one. I always hear about the country of the fastest economic growth, which is, undoubtedly, a great plus for job opportunities. However, I don't need the language just for commercial reasons. Studying Chinese is a lifetime challenge and in my case also a hobby - a hobby which I intend to turn into a profession. I am determined to deepen my passion and let others benefit from it. Since it is such an old and complex culture, I would love to discover unknown areas or to deepen what the world already knows about China. China is certainly up to something big, and glorious and once that happens, I want to witness it as an expert and make sure that the world and my personal life can take advantage of it.